When I registered for Social Media & Digital Business, I remember being excited that I was finally going to get a break from the super fast paced, high stress, quarterly semester system that was part of the first year Full-Time MBA core. I mean, social media couldn’t be too hard right? And we also had four Data Analytics classes that also covered digital technology. “This class is going to be a piece of cake!” When the course information was available on campus, the first thing I saw was the disclaimer message and I thought Prof. Kane was purposely doing this to troll us. Then, it all became a reality on the first day of class and it clearly wasn’t my cup of tea. But the class was so popular and had 20+ people on the waitlist so I figured there had to be something special about this class.
I’m glad I didn’t drop the class and gave it a go because this class provided an awesome community of classmates that are all super interested in technology and social media, allowing us to learn from each other at a much greater rate than if we were to find and consume each piece of content on our own. In the process, I also came to learn a lot about myself. Here are my five key personal and educational takeaways in no particular order:
- Actively using Twitter is beneficial if someone organizes and supervises a community
Before this class, I had owned a Twitter account since its inception in 2006 but only made one for the sake of the hype back when it was launched. I used it very briefly in 2011 when I was a summer intern at Sing For Hope and then didn’t look at my account until #IS6621. When we had to start our weekly Twitter feed, I had a very hard time reminding myself that I needed to be on Twitter and often found myself doing catch-up Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. However, I found myself more immersed in the Twitter feed as the semester went on because the content under #IS6621 is always so interesting.
With that said, I think Twitter is a phenomenal tool when there’s a community of people that cooperate and collaborate on content sharing and ask insightful questions. I think that #IS6621 is a prime example of how much we can gain from network effects. To be honest though, I probably won’t be using Twitter much on a regular basis after this class, unless there happens to be an opportunity to create or be in a community similar to #IS6621.
- It’s very hard teaching the class about something related to social media or technology in six minutes
Presentations have always been hard for me, but our six minute in class presentation was perhaps one of the hardest presentations that I had to do. As a video game enthusiast, I knew that I was going to do a presentation related to the evolution of video games. When it came down to creating a prototype of the presentation, the content that I wanted to deliver was well over the six minute mark. Getting the presentation down to that time limit resulted in a lot of content sacrifice, and ultimately casting too wide of a net. What I learned from this (and definitely from the class itself) is that anything pertaining to technology has a lot of moving parts and its better to focus on a key few aspects instead of giving a general overview.
- Amazon & Blockchain
These two topics were very hot on our Twitter feed and I was very glad to hear all the thoughts and opinions in a classroom environment. I’ve been managing an Amazon Professional Seller account for several years now so I am very familiar with their platforms and interfaces from an e-commerce standpoint. But learning about their release and discounts of Amazon Echo, their involvement in the grocery and pharmaceutical industry and how they seem to be steering into a lawsuit with all their actions has been great.
Another incentive for not dropping the class was because I saw Blockchain as one of the class topics. I’ve heard of blockchain in the past and tried to do research on my own but was never able to wrap my head around it. The resources provided by this class allowed me to conceptualize the idea of data blocks being created from tasks completed over a server, strung together into a chain that becomes harder and harder to hack as more task are completed. And although that’s a very surface level takeaway, it has certainly helped me understand how different altcoins are leveraging the blockchain technology and provides a premise for evaluating whether the coin is likely to be a scam or a landmark.
- Artificial Intelligence
In my Data Analytics 2 & 4 classes, we talked about AI but from a managerial perspective on how we would leverage AI for data driven insights on the job. In this class, we talked about AI in a perspective that made us consider personally what we would need to do to maintain a checks and balances system in the inevitable AI involved future. Our AI class was a firm reminder that I needed to pick up some propellerhead skills even as a manager that will likely be consuming and not quantifying data because AI would definitely beat me in a data eating contest.
Virality was always something that intrigued me and it always blew my mind how Charlie Bit My Finger managed to get 800 million views or how Gangnam Style got 3 billion. Both videos use very different elements but managed to become two of the most viewed videos of all time. In our Managing Virality class, I learned about other aspects that I didn’t think about when it came to virality such as copyright issues and ethics. However, I wish there was a case study available on one of the videos mentioned above because there seems to be a lot more data points to study.
Overall, I had a great semester and I thank everyone for making the classroom and online learning experience so much fun.